The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 19.
- The White House has posted a transcript of the March 17 press briefing provided by its COVID-19 response team and public health officials. During the briefing, White House officials noted that under to the American Rescue Plan (the COVID-19 relief bill), the federal government will now cover 100 percent of the cost for Medicaid and children’s health insurance beneficiaries to get vaccinated.
Provider Relief Fund
- The “reporting requirements and auditing” page of the Provider Relief web site has been updated with information about certain pools of Provider Relief Fund for which the current reporting requirements do not apply and other new information.
Department of Health and Human Services
- HHS announced that it will spend $10 billion from the American Rescue Plan to increase COVID-19 screening and testing to help schools reopen, increase testing in underserved populations, and provide new guidance on asymptomatic screening testing in schools, workplaces, and congregate settings. Learn more from this HHS news release. The CDC will administer $2.25 billion of this sum to increase testing in underserved populations; learn more about its plans in this CDC news release.
- HHS announced that it will spend $150 million to increase access to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapeutic treatments for patients in vulnerable communities across the country. Assistance may include additional staffing, improved infusion center capacity in traditional and non-traditional health care settings, and equipment to administer intravenous infusion treatments. The effort also will seek to improve awareness among health care providers and patients about the treatment options available, including where and how to obtain them. Learn more from this HHS announcement.
HHS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls
HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response sponsors COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Peer-to-Peer Virtual Communities of Practice that are interactive virtual learning sessions that seek to create a peer-to-peer learning network in which clinicians from the U.S. and abroad who have experience treating patients with COVID-19 share their challenges and successes. These webinar topics are covered every week:
- EMS: Patient Care and Operations (Mondays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
- Critical Care: Lifesaving Treatment and Clinical Operations (Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
- Emergency Department: Patient Care and Clinical Operations (Thursdays, 12:00-1:00 PM eastern)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The CDC has updated its information about possible side effects from COVID-19 vaccines.
- The CDC has published results of research into the relationship between socially vulnerable counties and vaccine coverage in those locations.
- The CDC has updated its resources on COVID-19 vaccines for long-term-care facilities.
- The CDC has updated its data on reported COVID-19 variant cases in the U.S.
- The CDC has updated its guidance on the appropriate use of testing for COVID-19 in light of additional testing capacity throughout the country.
- The CDC has updated its guidelines on the use of COVID-19 antibody testing.
- The CDC has updated its guidance for helping health care facilities operate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Food and Drug Administration
- The FDA has revised its fact sheets for health care providers on current monoclonal antibody therapies for treating COVID-19. Among other things, the revisions address the effectiveness of the respective products for treating certain COVID-19 variants. The revised fact sheets are for:
- The FDA has authorized its first COVID-19 test outside of the emergency use authorization process for continued use after the current public health emergency ends. See the FDA announcement and the letter of approval for the test.
- The FDA has launched a COVID-19 adverse events reporting system dashboard that provides weekly updates of adverse events reported to the FDA on drugs and therapeutic biological products used under emergency use authorization during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- The FDA has posted translations of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet in more than a dozen languages and expects to add more as they become available.
Government Accountability Office